Obesity is amplifying disease severity of Covid 19


Obesity is amplifying disease severity of Covid 19

Obesity-related conditions seem to worsen the effect of COVID-19; indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that people with heart disease and diabetes are at higher risk of COVID-19 complications.


There are a number of theories as to why obesity is amplifying disease severity. One is the chronic inflammatory state seen in obesity, which could play a role in the body’s altered immune response to SARS-CoV-2, potentially weakening the host defense and increasing the likelihood of the dreaded cytokine storm. A second possibility relates to the fact that angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which SARS-CoV-2 uses to penetrate the cell membrane, is more common in people with obesity. “Whether this is the result of higher ACE2 expression in the adipocytes of people with obesity or having more adipose tissue in general (and thus a greater number of ACE2-expressing cells) is not yet clear”.


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Laura Gray

Journal of Obesity & Eating Disorders